It’s a Wonderful Life (2011)

It’s a Wonderful Life (2011)

Dec 1-24, 2011

It’s a Wonderful Life (2011)

The Colorado Shakespeare Festival is proud to present It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play!  CSF will help you imagine what things would be like if George Bailey hadn't been around with this heartwarming, classic story. Portraying the complete cast of the good old Bedford Falls characters, five actors present the story as a 1940s live radio broadcast. Using creative character voices, realistic sound effects, and musical underscoring, this radio drama brings the Bailey family to life. 

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Director's Notes

The days are long gone when families gathered around the radio after dinner to listen to their favorite program, and couples took a night out to go dancing to their favorite big band.  Today, we have a very singular experience when it comes to the radio or listening to music.  We listen alone in our cars, connect to our MP3 players and shut out the world.  We can even watch a movie, not in a theatre, but on a screen that we can hold in the palms of our hands. 

Chances are you have seen Frank Capra’s 1946 film, “It’s a Wonderful Life” in your own lifetime.  But chances are also that, in this era of smart phones and mp3 players, you have never experienced it quite like this.  In the format of a live radio play, you have the opportunity to see the joy and laughter around you, from other audience members as well as with the actors at the microphones.  Here, you have the ability to sing along with a familiar carol if you want to and grab some milk and cookies on your way out of the theatre.  The unique experience of the live theatre, combined with a familiar tale, we hope takes you back to a time when people experienced art, music and story collectively. 

This beautiful story is, on the outside, representative of the typical American hero who overcomes adversity with a new zest for life--on Christmas Eve, no less.  It also holds a large dose of nostalgia for most of us. But the themes in this story reach far beyond that to the world we live in today.  The issues of greed, despair and loneliness that plague the main character of George Bailey, also plague so many people and their families in the midst of the current financial crisis.  And that finding your way in the middle of so much despair can be a very distant light at the end of a tunnel very difficult to see.

In bringing this experience to you, I want you to be able to feel comfortable sharing your emotions with those around you.  Embrace the nostalgia as we take you through one of the most beloved holiday stories from the last 65 years.  But also take a moment to think about what it all really means for George Bailey, and for you: that every one of us is important to someone, and that we have all affected others in a way that may never be recognized.   But most importantly, sit back and take the ride.  We’ll be right there with you.

— Kate Berry, director


JOE LANDRY (Playwright) At age 12, Joe's first job was in the film department at the library in his hometown of Fairfield, CT. This was before the dawn of home video, back in the days of 16mm, and their permanent collection included It's a Wonderful Life, The Lady Vanishes and other early Hitchcock films. Joe's other main interest was the theatre. Encouraged by his parents, Joe was introduced to various theatres which he came to call home, including Playwrights Horizons and Roundabout Theatre Company in New York, Westport Country Playhouse and others. In 1995, Joe founded Second Guess Theatre Company, which produced over two dozen new plays, adaptations and revivals to critical-acclaim. In 1997, It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play premiered in Stamford, CT and has since enjoyed productions around the country. Joe's other plays include Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Playand an adaptation of the cult classic Reefer Madness. Other projects include Mothers and Sons, a musical co-written with Kevin Connors


Jamie Romero

Violet, Young Violet, Matilda, Ruth, Mrs. Hatch, Mrs. Thompson, Janie, Zuzu

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Bob Buckley

Announcer/Assorted Characters

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